Friday, April 1st, 2016
Dancing with the Stars #DWTS has been a fun show to watch ~ the costumes, fancy footwork, and advanced choreography. But, what if the producers of the show required the professional instructors to teach their celebrity partners only Bronze level (beginner) steps for one week? Would it be boring? On the contrary I think it would relate to the millions of social dancers watching.
The following 5 beginner dance figures are a few of my favorites. If executed well, with good posture, footwork and frame, you can look quite polished on the dance floor, even as a brand new ballroom dancer:
1) Box step/Turning Box – this figure is the beginner’s best friend. When danced well it looks great! But sometimes the turning part can throw off newcomers. I remember a student from several years ago who struggled for weeks with the left turning box, but now it’s one of his best moves and he does it effortlessly.
2) Single Twinkle – Shhh, don’t tell anyone but I have incorporated this figure in to a dance where it technically doesn’t exist, like Rumba and Tango. It’s a classic step in Slow Waltz and Foxtrot (box rhythm), but I like to change things up once in a while. In Tango I have used it much like the Tango Rocks timing: S,S, Q,Q,S, Q,Q,S, Tango Close with a Twinkle being done more sharply on the QQS, QQS timing.
3) Progressive Twinkles – this figure gives the Follower a bit of a break from dancing the progressive waltz or foxtrot basic over and over again. It’s quite lovely and has a serpentine fluidity to it, and can cover quite a bit of floor space.
4) Ladies Slow Underarm Turn – when I teach this figure to beginners it takes several attempts for partners to meet up at the designated spot, but when they get it, they look so smooth. It’s used in Waltz, Foxtrot (Box Rhythm) and the Rumba. It’s perfect for showing off brides too.
5) Cross Body Lead – this figure can be a bit deceiving. To new dancers it looks difficult and technical, but once you learn the basic concept it comes in handy in Rumba, Salsa, and Cha Cha Cha. It’s definitely a “must know” figure if you are drawn to Latin dancing.
Note: The video in this post demonstrates the first seven figures of Rumba. It proves that it doesn’t take a lot of fancy, advanced choreography to be good social dancer. If you can dance the basics well, and get lots of practice, you’ll graduate from beginner to seasoned dancer in no time.
Ballroom Made Simple is celebrating 8 years of teaching new dancers the basics and beyond of ballroom/social dancing. Visit us at www.ballroommadesimple.com.
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